Research

Research


With 16 affiliated research centers, 44 full-time faculty and 147 affiliated psychologists, Psychology @ TC generates a lot of leading-edge research. Use the menu at right to explore all of our current research offerings.

Research Labs

Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab

The lab is devoted to the question of how humans cope with loss, potential trauma, and other forms of extreme life events. For the past 20 years, our research has attempted to document the variety of outcomes people show in response to such events as well as the factors that predict these outcomes. We have been especially interested in advancing research and theory about resilience in the face of extreme adversity, and the salutary role played by personality, emotion, and coping and emotional flexibility in moderating how aversive events impact our lives.

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The Psychotherapy, Technology, & Disclosure Laboratory

The Psychotherapy, Technology, & Disclosure Laboratory at Teachers College, Columbia University, is led by Dr. Barry A. Farber. Dr. Farber, a faculty member in the Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, has conducted a range of psychotherapy research over the course of his career.

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Global Mental Health Lab

The mission of the Teachers College GMH lab is to play a key role in the efforts to reduce the burden of mental illness and increase wellbeing in resource-poor areas around the world. We do this by generating knowledge through innovative research, and by translating this knowledge to develop sustainable mental health services in under-resourced communities. To that end, we conduct training and capacity-building in evidence-based, locally valid, and feasible strategies for prevention and treatment of mental illness.

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Maternal Psychology Laboratory

The Maternal Psychology Laboratory of maternal psychology aims to study the transition to motherhood, or “matrescence,” as a unique developmental phase within the female lifespan trajectory. Few areas in psychology have developed as slowly as research and theory about mothers themselves.

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Spirituality and Psychology Lab

The Spirituality and Psychology Lab is devoted to exploring the intersection of spirituality, positive psychology, mental health, and flourishing.

Their research investigates developmental, neurological, clinical, and phenomenological expressions of spirituality, spiritual pathways to wellness and thriving, and spiritual growth in children, adolescence, and young adults.

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Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Studies

In Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Studies, we address practical questions about suicide and self-injury by applying methods from psychological science. We want to better understand why people hurt or kill themselves. We also seek ways to precisely and responsibly assess suicide risk. Our research pertains to both adulthood and adolescence, and aims to improve our understanding of suicide risk across the lifespan. We are happy to share with you our ongoing projects and past work and offer opportunities for more involvement.

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The Lifespan Altruism and Well-Being Laboratory

The Lifespan Altruism and Well-Being Laboratory is directed by Elizabeth Midlarsky, a professor in the program on clinical psychology. Dr. Midlarsky's career has focused on positive psychology, with an emphasis on altruism, health and mental health through the lifespan, and on the predictors of psychotherapy in diverse populations.

The Social Cognition and Career Lab

The Social Cognition and Career Lab, directed by Dr. George Gushue, is housed in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. We are a group of passionate researchers interested in studying the psychological impact of race, gender, and culture on social cognition particularly perception, motivation, evaluation, and judgment and how these influence client evaluation, vocational interests and career development, group dynamics, and counseling practice. 

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identityLORE (Laboratory for Oppression, Resilience and Empowerment) Lab

identityLORE is run by Melanie Elyse Brewster, Ph.D in collaboration with Riddhi Sandil, Ph.D and two doctoral student coordinators, Aaron Breslow and Elizabeth Geiger. They are housed in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University. It focuses on minority stress theory or, how societal structures and attitudes shape identity development and psychological health for members of marginalized groups.

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Stigma, Identity and Intersectionality Lab

Led by Dr. Brandon Velez, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education in the Counseling Psychology program, the Stigma, Identity, & Intersectionality research group focuses on the links of oppression and collective identity attitudes with mental health and career outcomes among sexual, gender, and racial/ethnic minority people. The lab is particularly interested in the experiences and well-being of populations with multiple stigmatized identities, such as racial ethnic minority women and LGBTQ people of color.

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IncLab

Inclab conducts counseling psychology research on social inclusion/exclusion. In particular, we study identity-related exclusion from social resources, opportunities, and agency by addressing
* The impact of social exclusion/inclusion upon social and emotional well-being
* The social exclusion of poor and working-class people
* The operations of classism and racism within psychological practices
* The intersections of class with race and other identities
* Antiracism and whiteness
* The roles of professional and academic psychology in maintaining and/or counteracting exclusion
In addition , we conduct participatory action research (PAR) and youth participatory action research (YPAR) as vehicles by which to address the foregoing and as interventions in themselves

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Jahromi Research Lab

Our lab is focused on studying social-emotional processes in children with, or at risk for, developmental delays. Our current projects are as follows: Self-Regulatory Processes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; Risk and Resilience in the Transition to Kindergarten for Culturally Diverse Children with ASD and their Families; Social-Emotional Development in High-Risk Adolescent Mother-Child Dyads
Contact: jahromi@tc.columbia.edu

Caryn Block Research Group

Topics of Interest:
• The experiences of leaders in the demographic minority and the strategies they use to be successful in these environments
• The long-term effects of stereotype threat in the workplace
• The consequences of using gender and racial stereotypes in evaluations of people at work
Contact: cjb17@tc.columbia.edu

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Warner Burke Research Group

Learning agility, leadership development, organization culture & climate, multi-rater feedback, and authentic leadership
Contact: burke1@tc.columbia.edu

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Peter Coleman Research Group

What determines whether conflicts move in a constructive or destructive direction? This is the overarching question that has driven decades of research at the MD-ICCCR. While the answers to such questions are complex, we seek to identify the most fundamental factors that lead to qualitative differences in the dynamics of conflict and peace. For further information, visit us at http://icccr.tc.columbia.edu/

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Elissa Perry Research Group

This workgroup primarily but not exclusively focuses on issues of demographic diversity and discrimination in organizations. Emphasis is placed on using a variety of theoretical (e.g., social cognitive; legal; relational demographic; person-environment fit) and methodological (lab studies, surveys) approaches to conduct research that helps us understand the role that a variety of demographic characteristics (e.g., age, sex, generational membership) play in the workplace. The implications of demographic diversity for decision making (e.g., selection) and organizational behaviors (e.g., communication, turnover) is explored. Attention is given to the role of individual and organizational factors in understanding issues of demographic diversity and discrimination.
Contact: ep248@tc.columbia.edu.

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Loriann Roberson Research Group

Workforce diversity: the experiences of underrepresented groups, and organizational workforce diversity initiatives.
Contact: lr2356@tc.columbia.edu

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Jim Westaby Research Group

Our research has focused on how social networks influence goal pursuit, performance, and emotional contagion in social and organizational settings. Social networks permeate our lives, both in-person and online, such as through social networking and social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). After years in development, our work has culminated in the development of dynamic network theory (DNT) to predict and understand the way social networks impact goal pursuits in various domains (Westaby, 2012). For example, individuals have used the theory to model the in-person networks involved in their pursuits to get jobs, start businesses, lose weight, run marathons, quit tobacco, and improve social and organizational systems, among many others. In contrast to the classic study of social network structure alone, DNT examines how a taxonomy of only 8 social network roles can explain the complex ways in which networks wield their influence on our goals, dreams, and aspirations. Dynamic network charting, another new contribution, is also used in the theory to model how these roles are involved in specific goal pursuit cases.
Contact: jdw43@columbia.edu

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Spatial and Event Cognition: Thinking with the Body and the World

The mind is too small. When thought overwhelms the mind, the mind puts thought into the world: sketches, diagrams, models, arrangements of things, gesture. Externalizing thought reveals thought and promotes thought for self and others. These concerns have taken us afar, to diagrammatic reasoning, metaphor, design, art, creativity, collaboration, joint action, STEM, architecture, HCI, computer graphics, augmented reality, and more.
Contact: tversky@tc.columbia.edu

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